Nasal spray ‘that can stop you catching Covid for up to two days’ could be sold in high street pharmacies by summer
- Scientists at the University of Birmingham started research last April
- The nasal spray is made from ingredients already approved for medical use
- Dr Richard Moakes said the spray could help lift social distancing restrictions
Researchers have developed a nasal spray which could prevent a Covid-19 infection for up to two days and it may be available in pharmacies within a few months.
The nasal spray is made from ingredients already approved for medical use, meaning it does not need any further approval for use.
Scientists at the University of Birmingham have been developing the spray – which is currently unnamed – since April last year.
Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, lead researcher Dr Richard Moakes said he is confident the spray could help lift social distancing restrictions and reopen schools.
The spray prevents infection by capturing the virus in the nose and coating, which renders the virus inactive
The nasal spray is made from ingredients already approved for medical use, meaning it does not need any further approval
He added: ‘As an over the shelf product, we have spoken to companies with a presence on the high street as we think they could distribute it effectively.
‘Our goal is to make an impact as soon as possible, we would really like to see this happen by summer.’
The spray prevents infection by capturing the virus in the nose and coating it.
This means the virus cannot escape and renders the it inactive and harmless.
The researchers believe using the spray four times a day will be enough for general protection.
However, it is safe enough to be applied every 20 minutes if required, for example, if a user is in a high-risk environment.
The spray could be rolled out within months meaning people could buy it over the counter at pharmacies
The news comes after it was revealed that a virus lab at St Peter’s hospital, Surrey, announced they were trialling a spray which could kill 99.9% of the virus.
The SaNOtize Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray (NONS) is designed to kill the virus in the upper airways.
This stops the virus from incubating in the lungs, according to the NHS.
It was developed by SaNOtize Research and Development Corp. based in Vancouver, Canada.
In independent lab tests, they proved it was 99.9% effective in killing the virus.
Pankaj Sharma, Professor of Neurology and Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Research at Royal Holloway, said: ‘Any intervention for treating coronavirus – the virus responsible for Covid-19 – is to be welcomed.
‘The fact that a relatively easy and simple nasal spray could be an effective treatment is welcome news and offers a significant advance in our therapeutic armoury against this devastating disease.’